Ways that ThinkingApproaches & SkillsHistoryTeaching & discovering StrategiesResources & VideosKey phase IdeasPost main IdeasCommemoration Lesson making use of Drama and also HistoryPrimary college ideasWhat space commemorations?

What space interpretations?

Historians use facts gathered from main sources of evidence and also then form them so that their audience have the right to understand and also make sense of them. This process whereby the chronicler makes sense of the previous is called an interpretation.

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In stimulate to study interpretations students need to have the ability to recognise different species of interpretations, know why they can differ, and also how come critically advice them. Students require to be able to recognise how and why interpretations readjust over time.

It is vital that students master the idea of background as a build otherwise they will certainly be can not to make feeling of conflicting and competing accounts of the past which present themselves in their daily lives.

Teaching young children about interpretations involves them in reflecting about different versions of the past. Youngsters can uncover this concept difficult as it challenges their notion that there is one specific version of history. As soon as using interpretations with young youngsters teachers have to ensure the the youngsters are provided just the ideal amount of suspicion to an obstacle them. Teaching children about historical interpretations tells them something around the human being who produced them and the cultures in which they lived.

Planning to teach interpretations

When to teach interpretations teachers need to:

Use as countless different develops of interpretation as possible for example film, music and also art, so the students see the various views which are organized on an issue.Use examples of interpretations which display issues about which world held really strong views. Offer a great range the contrasting views on a topic and try to incorporate one or two which will existing an interesting or new standpoint.Use interpretations only once the students are well grounded through background information and have some understanding of the issues.Use techniques which will help students to see the limitations of some interpretations and also how the facts of background can it is in distorted or over streamlined for a specific purpose.Use criteria v students to show what renders a an excellent answer ~ above interpretations.

Primary examples

During the structure stage the children can be presented to the idea of different perspectives by examining different photos of a personality in a nursery rhyme. These various representations that the very same character present the children to the idea of various ways of representing people and events in the past.At KS1 enquiries deserve to be focused interpretations in the form of commemoration mugs, posters, title etc. Of significant people studied, such as Florence Nightingale or grace Darling, and also raising the children’s awareness that how and why these forms of commemoration were made.Teaching young kids that all background is a build is very complicated for them to understand, as they room inclined come think that the history they read in the textbooks is complete of addressed truths and facts that cannot be disputed. Arising children’s understanding of this concept at KS2 concentrates on help them to understand that part interpretations can be much more accurate and also reliable than others, and that historians can write different versions of the exact same event also when making use of the exact same evidence.The youngsters might additionally be able to recognize that interpretations could differ depending on which aspect historians room looking at. For instance views that the Victorians can be an ext positive if looking in ~ the services of industrialization and empire, and much more negative if looking at child work or slavery. Youngsters might likewise understand that human being create different versions that the past for various audiences and also therefore could give a various emphasis.Using collection of commemorative artefacts at museum to assist the children understand the purpose and audience of an interpretation and to discuss and debate why civilization represent the past differently.Presenting the kids with one view of past events and asking them come discuss and debate why the previous is represented differently.Using an effective visual interpretations such as a picture of the evacuation of children during human being War 2, have the right to at very first stimulate the children interest around war and also conflict and how it influenced the resides of children and also their families. Asking youngsters to emphasis on the photograph itself and exploring what they watch happening to the children the teacher could ask the children.Who castle think the photographer was.Are there any type of clues in the photograph around when it to be taken?Can they imply who castle think the photo was take away for?Why walk the photographer take it the picture? What did that think would occur to the picture afterwards?

Post main Examples

Students in ~ KS3 should be encouraged to communicate with interpretations so the they concerned realise the their knowledge and also understanding the the past depends not only on events yet how the events are represented.

Examples of utilizing interpretations at KS3

Focus one enquiry question on an interpretation using a poem, exhibition, film or piece of music for example. If the interpretation provided in the enquiry was an exhibition the question might be, “What can the exhibition call us about the ways in i m sorry the centenary the the Ulster covenant has been commemorated?” The purpose of this enquiry is not just the acquisition of knowledge about the Ulster Covenant however to examine the reliability of the exhibition in regards to the components which form it together an interpretation. This may incorporate for example as a traveler attraction, together a kind of education, as a way of keeping the past and as a means of communicating with the public.

Choose interpretations which

Show the textbooks or web sites may existing over streamlined versions that the past and may not always tell the totality story. Challenge timeless views of history by feather at occasions through the lens of women, that ordinary teams of human being whose focus may have actually been an ext on economic or society issues, and also of world from different regions such as north and south.Challenge the monolithic check out of Irish background by presenting choices or different perspectives

Develop and negotiate criteria which the students deserve to use once working v interpretations depending on the topic. For example;

All background is open up to interpretations.Many interpretations deserve to be used to justification the plot of people in the past and also that a winners version might be various to a losers version.Interpretations differ due to the fact that they are written for different audiences.Historians choose information and when they create they deserve to distort information to make their debates stronger.Historians change their views as soon as they discover brand-new evidence.Some interpretations portray victims in a more sympathetic method than perpetrators.The author’s approach may affect what they create for instance Catholic/Irish.


Having emerged the students knowledge of historical interpretations the is regularly disappointing because that teachers that methods to continue this breakthrough at KS4 might diminish due to examination constraints. The commemoration that the Holocaust offers great opportunities for teachers to check out interpretations

Using life Graphs come plot exactly how historians’ concepts on the Holocaust have changed over time, and also show whether their views over time have become more balanced v the advantage of hindsight.

Comparing and contrasting a number of different interpretations and also representations the the Holocaust which different in purpose and intention. For instance comparing and contrasting Spielberg’s film with historical narrative and also different creates of public commemorations.

A Level

At A Level the college student are required as part of their ready for your examination at


“to comprehend, analyse and also evaluate how the past has actually been interpreted and represented in various ways, for example in historians’ debates and also through a selection of media such as paintings, films, reconstructions, museum displays and also the internet.”


“Contemporary proof should it is in evaluated for reliability and also utility and used to assistance or underpin your answers. Later on interpretations too have to be explored and also used to educate the debate.”

Studying commemorations in every its forms allows A Level students to further develop their an abilities to analyse and evaluate interpretations of the past and to check out historians interpretations both contemporary and previous to inform their arguments.

These tactics are based upon ideas native Diana Laffan (Better great in a Level history Hodder 2009)

Source Auction

As part of a mock trial or debate, ask groups of lawyers to bid because that evidence, such together eyewitnesses, expert witnesses or visual sources that lock will usage to do their case (a straightforward argument type exam inquiry works best). The sources need to come up because that auction. The questioning price counts on their usefulness, typicality, worth etc. And also the groups of lawyers deserve to offer for them. Additionally you can set up a market and also open it because that a period while the lawyers choose the best evidence for your case. During the hearing / situation the sources deserve to be cross examined through the opponents.

The Language Bag

The tone of some historical interpretations may be an overwhelming for students to understand as well being able to distinguish in between tone and mood. Tone defines how the writer felt towards the topic of the text. Mood describes what the leader feels once reading it.

All messages have different tones be they official documents, letters, speeches, and also accounts.

Authors create the tone of a resource by the words they use, exactly how they space arranged in the text and how they can appeal come the senses.

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The language bag needs the college student to job-related in teams with a single source and also a copy of the language bag (which can be one envelope containing words) to explain the ton of the source. The students decided the most ideal word to explain the tone of the resource and then one member that the group reads the end the source using the tone identified. The remainder of the class have to imply which word it is. The language bag is no definitive and students deserve to be inquiry to add their own words. Some sources have actually underlying tone and the source can be passed to the next group to determine an additional tone. Some instances of indigenous in the language bag might be;


Lines of continuum

Use present of continuum to comment on the reasons why historians disagree. Student are provided 6 sources. In groups of 2 or 3, students have to decide where they would ar each source in terms of agreeing and disagreeing through a proposition. Castle physically ar the resource with the group name top top it along the heat at the most suitable place between strongly supports and also strongly disagrees with the assertion. Teacher deserve to then questioning a couple of students to pinpoint areas of disagreement between the groups and ask students to explain their viewpoint.